Matthew Arnold
Middlesex / England
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Dover Beach

Rating: 3.5
The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; - on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
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COMMENTS
Harley White 31 January 2021
A classic poem, always relevant and worth rereading...
0 0 Reply
Sandra Feldman 31 January 2021
One of the greatest poems ever written. A confirmed masterpiece! I cry everytime I read it. So moving and unforgettable.
0 0 Reply
L Milton Hankins 19 September 2020
One of the greatest poems written in the English language. Magnificent imagery, rhyme and rhythm.
0 0 Reply
Sig 91820 18 September 2020
Brilliant, on many levels, and very affecting. “Where ignorant armies clash by night”: USA in 2020
0 0 Reply
Castellenas John 12 April 2019
Wonderful poetry for the beach. Thank you Matthew.
1 2 Reply
Penelope I 15 December 2018
A deeply haunting and incredibly strange poem. A love poem that denies love. It's unstable like the beach.
3 3 Reply
James D. Cain 28 October 2018
I have loved this poem since childhood, about 75 years. It and I resonate....I am now 85. Egad! 28/10/2018
4 3 Reply
Carol M. 14 September 2018
My thoughts were rejected by this web page because they were too many characters. Apparently, anything longer than a couple of fortune cookie fortunes is just too many words for this site. You need to include a character counter.
4 1 Reply
Carol M. 14 September 2018
Hmmm. Some people have written longer comments. I do not feel like rewriting mine all over again. Suffice to say that religious faith never covered the world. People just thought it did. The real world is like the tide, which can be counted on to keep flowing in and then ebbing, over and over. Underneath are shifting sands and tumbling stones. Painful, unsteady. Nothing is assured. Cling to relationships for as long as you have them. Struggle on in darkness.
1 0 Reply
Chief Mama Susu 06 August 2018
I think the poem expresses beautifully Arnold’s concern about the decline of religious faith in his time and his fear for humanity as a result. He’s suggesting that without faith “we are here as on a darkling plain, swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, where ignorant armies clash by night.”
6 3 Reply
Bandana 14 July 2018
Pretty tough to understand
2 1 Reply

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